Online shopping has become exponentially more popular over the last decade. Couriers are responsible for delivering the items, and the need to know where the package is and when it is due to be delivered gave rise to package tracking systems. Package tracking is something that users have come to take for granted these days. Couriers offer the feature on their websites, offering detailed information on shipping status, delivery status, and more. The problem for Google was that users frequently used to come to Google Search to find information on package tracking, but they would then leave Google Search to access the courier’s website to use the package tracking feature.
Now, Google wants couriers to show tracking information in Google Search itself. This will represent an advantage for Google, as it will function similarly to Google’s Knowledge Graph, which has proved effective in reducing users’ need to leave Google Search to access a website for the purpose of learning information.
To make tracking information easier to find, Google has created a new package tracking feature that enables shipping companies to show users the status of their packages right on Search. It’s called the “Package Tracking Early Adopter Program,” and Google has right away made it available in all countries. However, shipping companies will have to sign up to participate in this feature, and they can give feedback on how to improve it.
Couriers interested in taking part will need to provide a RESTful JSON or XML API that returns the package tracking information. Google says that it can work with couriers to reuse an existing API or set up a new one. The eligibility requirements can be read here, and Google is inviting couriers to fill out the interest form.
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